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The Local Recovery Plan was presented during the March 22nd meeting to receive Council’s approval and to notify the public of projects the City intends to spend ARPA dollars upon.
During the regularly-called Brownwood City Council Meeting on Tuesday, March 22nd, Councilmembers approved a resolution authorizing the approval of the City of Brownwood COVID-19 Pandemic Relief Recovery Plan association with the implementation of the City’s American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA).
In March 2021, President Biden signed a coronavirus relief package into law, which included the State and Local Fiscal Recovery Funds of the American Rescue Plan. This funding provides formula grants to every state and local government within the country based upon its population size. The City of Brownwood is expected to receive a funding total of $4,572,890. The United States Treasury outlined four expenditure areas for the funds: (1) local pandemic assistance; (2) essential worker premium pay; (3) provision of government services; (4) water, sewer, and broadband construction.
Recovery Funds are intended to provide support to State and local governments in responding to the impact of COVID-19 in their communities. The Fiscal Recovery Funds build on and expands the support provided to these governments over the last year, including through the Coronavirus Relief Fund (CRF).
On February 28, 2022, Brownwood City Council met in a workshop with staff and Public Management consultants to discuss eligible expenditures, budgetary concerns, and primary needs for the utilization of ARPA funds. Council and staff identified five categories (Infrastructure Improvements, Utilities, Public Health & Safety, General Government Services, Grant Match) to represent the City’s allocation. Following the Council workshop, staff and consultants completed the Local Recovery Plan which includes the prioritization of eligible expenditures the City has considered.
Currently the Local Recovery Plan outlines infrastructure improvements to the amount of $1,322,890, which includes street work and reconstruction, and parking lots. Utility improvements detailed in the plan are estimated at $500,000 and will include maintenance and upgrades for lift stations, water and sewer line replacements, upgrades to water towers and distribution systems, as well as downtown utility and infrastructure projects. The Public Health and Safety component of the plan allocates $500,000 for the Brownwood-Brown County Health Department to assist with COVID-19 response and public safety. General Government services are also noted in the plan with an allotment of $1,750,000 as permitted under the Final Rule of Treasury guidance to include capital expenses, purchase materials, building maintenance, equipment, and technology hardware.
The Local Recovery Plan was presented during the March 22nd meeting to receive Council’s approval and to notify the public of projects the City intends to spend ARPA dollars upon. The acceptance of the Recovery Plan does not commit the City to these expenditures but acts as a list of potential expenditures that are aligned with eligible activities and project costs as defined by the Treasury.
Moving forward, City of Brownwood staff will coordinate with consultants to implement the Plan and expend the funds following the approved prioritization. All bids, quotes, and purchase requests to be funded by ARPA as identified in the Plan will be brought back to Council before they are awarded.